A FRIEND GAVE ME A BOOK – An autobiographical Graphic Narrative

A FRIEND GAVEME A BOOK is an autobiographical graphic narrative.

This work began life as a short story I wrote in 2006 that was based on actual events surrounding a trapeze accident. I never published the story, but gave it a theatrical life in a 2010 solo performance work that also included 6 original songs and an extensive 3-channel video projection component.

A re-staging of the work in 2016 compelled me to make a series of drawings that traced the progression of the theatrical scenes as a way to dive back into the material. I soon saw these drawings as a tangible re-imagining of an indelible personal experience.

A FRIEND GAVE ME A BOOK is 334 pages and entirely hand-drawn (the chapter/titles have not yet been rendered). This work utilizes various mediums and surfaces (pencil, pastel, paint, paper, linen, wood, metal), and was conceived in a book format as a way to retain the convention of the subject as defined in the title – i.e., a book given to me by a friend, which jumpstarts the narrative. 334 pages (10” x 10”) are designed as 166 diptychs (10” x 20”) and 2 triptychs (10” x 30”).

The textual narrative – the monologue and song lyrics – are rendered graphically, and interplay with the parallel visual narrative. Much of the imagery has been culled from the video projection component that permeated the live performance, and is coupled with imagery from other areas of the imagination.